‘Game of Thrones’ Recap Season 4 Episode 1: ‘Two Swords’ – Video

Game of Thrones is back with a season premiere that ties tragedy of the Starks from last season into a rebirth of the Stark’s purpose through Arya.

After a recap highlight of the past 3 seasons (basically the deaths of Ned, Catelyn and Robb Stark), the premiere starts with Tywin Lannister ordering the melting down of “Ice” — the great sword made with Valyrian steel and Stark family heirloom. Ned Stark used it to behead a Wilding in the first episode of Season 1 and was the same sword used to behead him. “Ice” is forged into two swords and Tywin throws the scabbard made from the pelt of wolves into the flame.

Previously on Game of Thrones

Producers’ Notes on the Melting Down of ICE

Tywin gives one of the swords to Jaime Lannister, who he wants to return to Casterly Rock. Jaime however refuses and wishes to stay in the King’s Guard. Tywin is not impressed since he questions how Jaime could serve with one hand, but he lets him stay anyway.

Jaime eventually gets a gold hand, commissioned for him by Cersei. Jaime wants to rekindle his incestuous relationship with her, but it looks like she wants nothing of it now as “Jaime took too long to come back to King’s Landing” and so many things have changed.

To compound things for Jaime, Joffrey also shows no love for him when they make preparations for his wedding. (These Joffrey mocking scenes just make you hate him even more really.)

Production Notes on Jaime’s Hand and Jaime’s and Cersei’s relationship

Another new twist is the arrival of Oberyn Martell to King’s Landing for Joffrey’s wedding.

This guy is ruthless — and his hatred for the Lannisters knows no bounds. He’s also bisexual-incestuous which is a perfect reason to add gratuitous HBO nudity scenes.

Tyrion Lannister finds him in a brothel and their one-on-one conversation reveals how Oberyn still harbors hatred for the current regime: his sister Ella was married to Rhaegar Targaryen, son of the mad king and oldest brother of Daenerys. Ella died a horrible death during the rebellion.

Tyrion also has his hands full with his wife Sansa Stark, who is grieving the loss of her family. He doesn’t know what to do with her — and his mistress Shae has gotten jealous of Tyrion’s concern for Sansa. It also doesn’t help that one of Cersei’s spies has caught on to Tyrion’s having a mistress.

Meanwhile, Sansa just wants to be left alone. While praying, we get a full circle moment from Season 2, where one of the knights that Joffrey banished to be a “drunk fool”, meets Sansa and thanks her for saving his life. He gives her a blue necklace belonging to his mother which Sansa promises to use.

Brienne of Tarth visits Margaery Tyrell finally and reports to her how Renly Baratheon has killed by a shadow commissioned by Stannis Baratheon (if you’ve been watching Game of Thrones for the last two years, you know this already except that Brienne and Margaery have never had this conversation before). Margeary tells Brienne that Joffrey is their king now. (She’s moved on, we love her for this.)

Brienne also has a word with Jaime Lannister who she has on oath would protect Sansa and Arya Stark. He tells her that Arya is possibly dead and Sansa is safest in King’s Landing. Brienne questions if she really is.

'Game of Thrones' Recap Season 4 Episode 1 Daenerys Dragon


Her dragons have gotten bigger and more violent. Her love interest Daario Naharis has been recast, so it may be jarring to see a new face in Kaleesi’s entourage if you’ve followed from last season. The new Daario is OK and I guess more leading-man type if Dany is going to fall for him.

Dany and her army start their march for Meereen.

Jon Snow

He’s back at Castle Black. The leaders want to behead him for treason but he tells the truth of why he killed Half-Hand. He reports the plans of the Wildings’ attack on Castle Black. Maester Aemon believes him and he’s off the hook.

Meanwhile, Jon Snow’s former love Ygritte and the Wildlings team up with some cannibals.

Arya Stark

Finally, Arya and the Hound chance upon an inn where one of the bandits that stole her sword “Needle” is staying. The Hound wants to avoid confrontation, but Arya manages to get him into the inn.

The Hound starts a brawl with the bandits and puts down most of them, but it wasn’t enough, until Arya joins in the fight. Taking “Needle” she starts her first killing spree ever. And like the scene with Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, she recites the bandit’s words to him when she took her sword (and killed one her friends) — before poking his neck.

And so after three years, we are now seeing Arya finally getting revenge. It’s a long bucket list of revenge, but this is the start. Long live the Starks!

'Game of Thrones' Recap Season 4 Episode 1 Arya Stark Needle

Production Notes

Synopsis: Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) welcomes a guest to King’s Landing. At Castle Black, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) finds himself unwelcome. Dany (Emilia Clarke) is pointed to Meereen, the mother of all slave cities. Arya (Maisie Williams) runs into an old friend.

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